January 29, 2023
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Dive boat investigators serve search warrants, release names of 22 victims


The diving vessel Conception caught fire in the early morning hours of Sept. 2. A total of 38 passengers and crew were on board. (Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara County Fire)

As investigators poured over evidence seized over the weekend, efforts to salvage the remains of the dive boat Conception remained stalled Sept. 9 a week after the deadliest maritime disaster in decades.

Investigators served search warrants at Santa Barbara-based Truth Aquatics and the Sea Landing dive center Sept. 8 as part of a probe into the Labor Day fire aboard the Conception, but high winds kept efforts to salvage the remains of the vessel on hold.

A joint investigation between the FBI, U.S. Coast Guard, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Attorney’s Office gathered evidence at the businesses and on Truth Aquatics’ other two vessels, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Lt. Eric Raney told the Business Times. The terms of the warrants were sealed as part of the ongoing investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office released the names of 22 of the 33 victims that had been recovered from the wreckage, after their identities were confirmed and their families were notified. They ranged in age from 17 to 62, and the preliminary list indicated that only three had lived in the Tri-Counties. Of the names released, 19 were California residents, two were from Arizona and one lived in Tennessee.

Search and recovery efforts were still underway for the final missing passenger, but were hindered by strong winds and currents that kept crews from being able to flip the overturned hull of the boat and bring it to the surface.

Some of the victims’ names, ages and place of residence are:

Raymond “Scott” Chan              59        M         Los Altos, CA

Justin Carroll Dignam                 58        M         Anaheim, CA

Daniel Garcia                            46        M         Berkeley, CA

Marybeth Guiney                      51        F          Santa Monica, CA

Yulia Krashennaya                     40        F          Berkeley, CA

Alexandra Kurtz                        26        F          Santa Barbara, CA

Caroline McLaughlin                  35        F          Oakland, CA

Ted Strom                                 62        M         Germantown, TN

Wei Tan                                    26        F          Goleta, CA

Kendra Chan                             26        F          Oxnard, CA

Angela Rose Quitasol                28        F          Stockton, CA

Evan Michel Quitasol                 37        F          Stockton, CA

Nicole Storm Quitasol               31        F          Imperial Beach, CA

Michael Quitasol                       62        M         Stockton, CA

Carol Diana Adamic                   60        F          Santa Cruz, CA

Andrew Fritz                             40        M         Sacramento, CA

Charles McIlvain                       44        M         Santa Monica, CA

Steven Salika                            55        M         Santa Cruz, CA

Tia Salika-Adamic                      17        F          Santa Cruz, CA

Neal Gustav Baltz                      42        M         Phoenix, AZ

Patricia Ann Beitzinger              48        F          Chandler, AZ

Vaidehi Campbell                      41        F          Felton, CA